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Emot Rev. 2011 Apr;3(2):207-213.

Developing Mechanisms of Self-Regulation in Early Life.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, USA.

Abstract

Children show increasing control of emotions and behavior during their early years. Our studies suggest a shift in control from the brain's orienting network in infancy to the executive network by the age of 3-4 years. Our longitudinal study indicates that orienting influences both positive and negative affect, as measured by parent report in infancy. At 3-4 years of age, the dominant control of affect rests in a frontal brain network that involves the anterior cingulate gyrus. Connectivity of brain structures also changes from infancy to toddlerhood. Early connectivity of parietal and frontal areas is important in orienting; later connectivity involves midfrontal and anterior cingulate areas related to executive attention and self-regulation.

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